Monday, August 30, 2010

CALA 21st Century Librarian Seminar Series, Shanxi University II

I was so surprised to see many young librarians and library directors in the seminar. It is normal to see many senior librarians in the United States, but, definitely, not in China. Once you were in that atmosphere, you would be deeply moved by those young professionals' curiosities.

Young Chinese librarians are specially interested in emerging technologies, new library services and electronic collection development. Only state university libraries have developed institutional repositories, and also run into the challenge of recruiting high quality contents. Some science librarians offer patent search to their senior undergraduate and graduate students, but not intensively and systematically teach patent search skills. It was unexpected to get a few good questions on patent search, e.g. how to use patent classification to search and how scientific information literacy is taught in the USA.

Currently, there four billions mobile subscribers in the world and two-thirds of them live in the developing countries. China is a huge market for mobile service. Mobile computing is a hot topic, although the service hasn't been offered to students in China yet. My American colleague gave a great overview on the application of mobile computing in American academic libraries. Young Chinese librarians were so excited about the current practices in the USA, such as, provide library services through mobile devices; access e-resources via iphone, smartphone and ipad.

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